Dr. Adam Summers, professor of biology in the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington, will discuss “From Finding Nemo to Finding Patents: Adventures in Marine Biomimetics” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Theater, Building 14A, on the UNF campus. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Summers is also the associate director of the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories. His work focuses on the biomechanics of fish—he studies the morphology of fish bodies and how their morphology influences how fish move and function.
In addition to his research, Summers was also the science consultant for Pixar Studios’ hit movies “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory.” During his lecture, he will give a presentation about his experiences in helping to craft the science behind both movies.
Summers will also discuss his recent, highly publicized efforts to attempt to scan and digitize the more than 25,000 fish species in the world. As a result of his work, each species will soon have a high-resolution, 3-D visual replica online, available to all and downloadable for free. Scientists, teachers, students and amateur ichthyologists will be able to look at the fine details of a smoothhead sculpin’s skeleton, or 3-D print an exact replica of an Arctic alligatorfish.
He uses a small computerized tomography scanner in his lab to churn out dozens of fish scans from specimens gathered around the world. The machine works like a standard CT scanner used in hospitals—a series of X-ray images is taken from different angles, then combined using computer processing to create 3-D images of the skeleton.
“The goal is to make it possible for scientists to examine the morphology of a particular species or try to understand why a group of fish all have similar physical characteristics, such as bony head armor or the ability to burrow into the sand,” said Summers.
This Distinguished Voices Lecture is sponsored by The Brotman Family Coastal Biology Lecture Series and the UNF Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship Program. All Distinguished Voices lectures are free and open to the public and require an e-ticket, however, seating is limited.
UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.